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Iran foreign minister in Delhi for talks on ties

31 May, 2018, 23:01 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj says India won't be dictated

India also said on Monday it would only abide by sanctions imposed by the United Nations - not any other country, such as those announced by the United States.

India is already suffering the unintended consequences of President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal - a pullout that has spurred higher oil-import bills, the rupee's weakening against the U.S. dollar, and increased foreign exchange outflows.

New Delhi, May 28 There can not be any comprehensive dialogue with Pakistan as talks and terror can not go together, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today, but asserted that engagements such as track-two diplomacy and NSA-level meetings will keep taking place.

In its reaction to Trump's decision, India had said all the parties concerned should engage constructively to resolve the issue peacefully and that Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy must be ensured.

Iran is India's third largest supplier of petroleum, and India desperately wants to see Iran's South Pars natural gas developed and the gas exported to India, either through Pakistan or through an underwater pipeline through the Gulf.

Swaraj later met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The US alleges that Iran's intelligence ministry and the Revolutionary Guard maintain permanent wards at Evin, "where they hold political prisoners".

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"We don't make our foreign policy under pressure from other countries", she told a news conference. However, Ms. Swaraj did not explain how India would hope to get around banking and insurance restrictions that may come about as the USA increases pressure on European banks which the India-Iran trade depends on.

The sanctions target Director-General of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Abdulali Ali-Asgari, Ansar-e Hezbollah leaders Hossein Allahkarah, Abdolhamid Mohtasham and Hamid Ostad, Secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council Abolhassan Firouzabadi and Iranian judiciary official Abdolsamad Khoramabadi, the US Treasury Department's statement said.

"After that there was talk of a meeting with the USA", she said.

Bilateral trade between India and Iran amounted to $12.9bn in 2016-17. Indian interests in the Iran nuclear deal revolve around possible USA sanctions that would once again slow down the development of the Chabahar port.

This is the first official confirmation that an issue that has threatened to widen the gap between the two sides is very much on the table and that the U.S. may ask India to take a position. India imported $10.5 billion worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4 billion.

"He told me that if I can not come to North Korea, at least I should send the Minister of State, but the visit should take place", she said.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on May 28 issued an apology for saying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed lakhs of "Indians" in Nepal's Janakpur recently.


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